Mar 26, 2020 - Technology

A New York Times tweet on Zoom etiquette backfires

Ina Fried

After a New York Times tweet on Wednesday suggested that those working from home leave their kids and pets out of work video conferences, Twitter erupted with rebukes.

Why it matters: Most of corporate America is adjusting to working from home right now, with many workers also managing kids who are home from school.

"As much as we love your children and pets, we may not want to see them in video calls," the New York Times' tech section said in the since-deleted tweet. "Here's a guide to proper Zoom etiquette."

Yes, but: Many feel these glimpses of humanity are a saving grace in the work-from-home era.

The Times eventually deleted the tweet, but not the story, which offers a variety of video conferencing etiquette notions.

  • Most of those — suggestions on testing your setup, checking your internet connection and muting by default — have nothing to do with kids or pets.

What they're saying:

  • Brendan P. Lewis, head of PR for Away: "Holy hell please immediately place this awful take onto a rocket and eject it from our planet."
  • David Mack of Buzzfeed News: "Did Ebenezer Scrooge write this?"
  • New York Times (from its NYTimestech account): "Our tweet on online video etiquette wasn't the best and we deleted it. We love your pets and kids. Stay safe."

My thought bubble: Working parents have been performing this juggling act forever. It's good for their co-workers to see that, especially right now.

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